Summary: WHAT IS HOLINESS? There are many questions in this life that have caused strife among Christians. Lately I have noticed that in our walk and our life we may have a hard time describing precisely what we believe. When it comes to Holiness I don’t bel
WHAT IS HOLINESS?
There are many questions in this life that have caused strife among Christians. Lately I have noticed that in our walk and our life we may have a hard time describing precisely what we believe. When it comes to Holiness I don’t believe that there is an exception. If anything this may be one of the hardest core beliefs to explain.
You may already know this, because you have been asked by somebody what Holiness is. At that point that is when you think to yourself, “Great you had to ask a hard question.” Don’t worry you aren’t the only one to think along those lines. In previous years I had a hard time explaining our belief on holiness to those that would ask.
I. The Roots
a. There are over 20 References to Holiness from Genesis to Revelation.
b. We are called to perfection in over half of these references, the rest of which exalt God’s Holiness as our example.
II. The Facts
a. Holiness is of the utmost importance to God.
i. Nearly all of the 850 plus verses in Leviticus guide Israel to Holiness
ii. Lev 19:2- Is the pillar of which Leviticus is built on
b. We CAN be Holy in this life.
i. Everything that God asks of us is more than attainable.
ii. God has called us, rather, commanded us to be Holy. - Rom. 12:1; 1st Thes. 4:3
c. Holiness is separate from Salvation
i. Initial Sanctification is the crisis moment when a person is Justified by the blood of Christ and forgiven of their sins.
ii. “We must take refuge from God in God. Above all we must believe that God sees us perfect in His Son while he disciplines and chastens and purges us that we may be partakers of His Holiness.”- A. W. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy, pg 107
iii. 1st Peter 1:14-16 shows this truth
III. So What is Holiness
a. Perfect Love is the embodiment of Holiness.
b. “It is love excluding sin; love filling the heart taking up the whole capacity of the soul…For as long as love takes up the whole heart, what room is there for sin therein?”-Wesley
c. The Greatest Commandment, Matthew 22:34-40
IV. Chasing after Holiness
a. Simple Faith
i. No 12 step program
ii. No special chants/prayers
b. Constant Listening
i. Pray to the Holy Spirit
ii. Every Action/ Every Word
c. Helping the Lady move
I come to you talking about Holiness, not only to encourage it but to hopefully give you a good grasp of what Holiness/Entire Sanctification is. You must ask yourself one thing when it comes to Holiness. Will I believe and love perfectly?
This reminds me of a story way back in history books. The year is sometime around AD 480 and the Catholic church is spreading missionaries like wildfire. One of these places that the Gospel spread very quickly is among the Franks, in modern day Germany, following under the banner of the stubborn Clovis 1st. This king was married to a Christian who regularly told him of the One True God, only to hear “Nonsense” coming from her husband. This king and his people were a war mongering tribe and were in the throws of battle and losing horribly. Clovis in the midst of this battle looks up to the sky and cries out, “Jesus if you are truly the Son of the Living God and you can give victory to those who believe in you. Give me victory and I will be baptized. I have tried my gods and they have deserted me. I call on you. Only save me.”
Clovis was victorious that day and went home to tell his wife of the incident, and she immediately summons the Bishop, and Clovis is baptized, along with 3000 of his people. Here is the catch his tribesman being the war loving people they are found a way around this salvation through baptism. This tribe was all baptized in the same river at the same time, but when the men went down they held up their sword bearing arm out of the water so that they would be save but their arm could still go out and kill.
Put yourself in their position. Our whole congregation is down standing in the Mississinewa river ready to be baptized. Feel the water around you, the current rushing it by. Notice the bugs dancing across the top of the water and birds flying amongst the trees. The Bishop is standing above us all on the river bank, and he starts to say, “I baptize you in the name of The Father, The Son, & The Holy Spirit. As you go down under the water and feel the chill, what are you holding out, is it your thought life, your wallet, your mouth, your body, maybe you aren’t ready to let the Lord lead your marriage or your kids, it might even be your whole self.